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Steve Lacy Gemini Rights RCA Records


On Steve Lacy’s latest album, a Gemini writes about love. More specifically, about the indelible marks that romance leaves on the heart. The result is an all-at-once sad, sultry and soothing expression of the emotions that flow from heartbreak, aptly captured on the funky bossa nova track, Mercury, when Lacy sings: “little of pleasure, little depression”. Don’t get it twisted, though, he’s still having fun. Electric even when he’s languid between vulnerable whispers to his ex-partner, there’s a palpable joy in the release of it all.

Known for his DIY approach over the last decade, Lacy produced his own introductory Steve Lacy’s Demo EP as well as Kendrick Lamar’s PRIDE on his iPhone, and self-produced his debut Apollo XXI entirely on his laptop. For his second LP, though, Lacy has opted for the full studio treatment.

The decision – which is partially responsible for the record’s richer, crisper textures – allowed for further collaboration and experimentation as Lacy expands his sonic territory with his first release as an RCA signee. The Compton-born artist holds the production reins for the majority of the album, with a helping hand from DJ Dahi (Vince Staples, Lupe Fiasco, Drake) and writing assistance from Fousheé on a few tracks, including the dreamy Sunshine. Elsewhere, the flirty standout Bad Habits satisfies the summer bop slot, while the cheeky, introspective Cody Freestyle reminds us to stop taking ourselves too seriously. “You really workin’ with your resources/ And baby, I ain’t mad at it/ It’s just that I don’t like that tied-down shit,” he sings. By the time we get to Give You the World, we hear what our eyes confirm: the young prodigy is now grown.

With confidence in his pen as well as his sexuality, Lacy is stepping into his own. Devoid of attachment to a single lover or sound, on Gemini Rights, Steve Lacy has turned up the heat.